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Subject: News, out of the box!
Jam Handy film that manages to touch on xerography, television, modems, talkies and telephony in the 1930s! If someone back then had expanded on this in just about ANY direction they would have produced some office machine or process that's considered standard today.
The makeshift telephone hookup is great, but watch out for the acoustic modem set for the candlestick telephone!
Subject: Truly there's nothing new under the sun.
The saying of Solomon that there's nothing new under the sun seems very true here. Before watching this video, I no idea this technology was even thought of -- much less possible so long ago. How wrong I was! I also have to echo previous comments that this really does foreshadow the use of scanning images digitally (and even faxes). Very interesting.
As previous reviewers note, it's amazing just how much this film correctly predicts the future, even though it didn't mean to. Facinating to watch, and with great footage of 30's life styles as well.
Subject: "Your cat did WHAT?"
TThis is a fun overview of the (then) new science of transmitting photographs over wire. The film begins in a newsroom, where they're taking calls that I'm sure happen every day, stories about non-behaving cats etc. Suddenly, a call comes in aboiut a car equipped with a plane! And that plane was going to take off while the car was moving! Why that's crazy! Send someone out there! They all react like this was front page news. So someone goes out there, and takes a picture, and because of newfangled technology, they can send it over wires! This is then explained to us, but thankfully, since Jam Handy knows his stuff, this is all explained to us quite simply, and although it's really too over-simplified, we can walk away saying, "Oh, I know how this works!". Really quite fun.
Subject: Ken Burns Effect?
open letter to editor of Studio Monthly (magazine for video makers).
On page 60 of the April 4, 2005 issue of Studio Monthly, Beth Marchant has a great article on archival footage that credits Ken BurnsÃÂ brother Ric Burns with "pioneering the moving still image".
This is a common misnomer. (The effect is even called "The Ken Burns Effect" in the menu of the grandma-ware video program iMovie.)
The Burns brothers make cool flicks, but neither Burns came up with the idea of turning stills into moving footage. This technique has been around almost as long as movies, and certainly years before Ken and Ric Burns were born (1953 and 1955, respectively).
For instance, the 1937 industrial short "Spot News" uses this technique on a newspaper headline. ItÃÂs starts at 8 minutes and 51 seconds in.
This film is available for download on from the Prelinger Archive at
Michael W. Dean,
ÃÂ$30 Film SchoolÃÂ
Michael W. Dean
Squitten Pix, L.L.C.
"It's not what you do it with, it's what you do with it."
Subject: Very informative!!!
I like this film because, having grown up around computers most of my life, sometimes it's difficult to fathom how something like this was done before modern computers, fax machines, digital scanners, and the internet. I also found it interesting the use of a "modem" to transmit the data over a phone line as well as the application of a neon light much as one would use a laser today. The only way it would have been more impressive to me is if the process would have been digital instead of analog. Plus, I'm sure that this process was what opened the door for Xerographic photocopying, fax machines, scanners, etc. that we use everyday.
Subject: Interesting - a proto-fax machine.
This reminds me of some stuff I read about mechanical television. I had no idea anyone had the capability of sending faxes back in the 1930's, but once you study pre-CRT television, it makes perfect sense. Interesting and informative.